Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Sibu Foochow Culture

Do you know where Sibu is? I think most of the West Malaysian don’t know where is it. I study in UTAR locate in Petaling Jaya for almost three years. Most of my friends they don’t know where Sibu is or they never heard it before. I think there is a mindset in your heart that I come from Sibu. That’s right, you guessed it!

Before I get into my topic, let me tell you a funny conversation that I heard in a lift at XXX shopping mall. “Dear, I will go for business to Sibu next week,” said the husband to his wife. His wife was surprised and asked, “What? Sibu is “ulu” area. Why your company send you there?” Her reply reduced her husband to silence. I felt impulse clarify that Sibu is not “ulu” area. Ultimately, I didn’t do so. She is “ignorant”, and there is an end for the conversation. 

Night Scene of Sibu Town

What a beautiful night scene of Sibu Town right? Sibu is a riverine town at the confluence of the nation’s longest river, the Rajang, in Sarawak. The population is mainly Chinese Foochow as well as indigenous Iban, Malay and Melanau. In Malaysia, Foochow people are referred as “Hockchiu”. There are a significant number of Foochow people mainly in Sibu, Sarawak; Sitiawan, Perak and Sri Jaya, Pahang. There is a saying that Sibu is “small Hock Chew province”, Sitiawan is “small Sibu” and Sri Jaya is “small Sitiawan”.

Sibu Mascot
Sibu is also referred to as the “Swan City”. Swan was chosen to be the mascot where the Foochow people were grateful when a famine ended with the appearance of a flock of swans flying through the sky. The swan signifies a new identity, spirit, solidarity and unity which would inspire the people to work hand-in-hand towards to meet its goal to become a city in the future. 

Live in cave?
or tree?
Until now, some of the west Malaysians or foreigners still think that the Sarawakian or Sabahan live in cave or trees. I still remember that one of my secondary teachers told us that if someday and someone ask where Sarawakian live, we should tell them we live on the tree but with lift! How high tech we are. Of course, it’s a joke.


As a citizen of East Malaysia, I’m here to clarify that we live in house same as you. We live in terrace house, bungalow and others.
Tossed with sweet soya sauce

For the budget traveler, Sibu is a best choice for you to travel as our food price and accommodation is cheap and affordable. Now, let me introduce you some of Sibu's famous dish. Kampua Mee is signature dish which is tasty, economic and loved by local people. The taste is available either plain or tossed with sweet soya sauce. It looks like Wantan Mee in West Malaysia but its taste is totally different and it was dry.

Mee Sua (Long Life Noodle)
The Foochow culture fills with food tradition and symbolism. Mee Sua, another Foochow favourite, is a customary dish for the Foochow community especially during special occasion such as birthdays and Chinese New Year as the noodles signify longevity. It's also referred to as "Long Life Noodle". Foochow people also say for long life noodles, the longer and the better. 

Ding Bian Hu
Ding Bian Hu is another popular dish normally taken by Foochow as breakfast or supper of this town. It's also called as "collection of noodles" as the batter mixed into the wok and collected together in the soup. It's neither noodle nor porridge which made of rice starch. It tastes like Pan Mee but softer, fresher and has the tastiest soup ever!

Kompia is baked in a charcoal oven
Fried Kompia with some minced meat

Kompia is one of the most famous delicacies of Foochow to buy by the dozens. Traditionally, Kompia is baked in a charcoal oven and today many will find the bun sandwiched with some minced meat. The hero Ji Guang invented Kompia as dry food for his soldiers to carry along during Anti-Japanese occupation war in China. It tastes like French bread but it has sesame seeds on top.

Hope I've awakened an interest in you to come visit Sibu. Swan City, Welcomes You!

Maybe you will ask me can you find the Sibu dishes in West Malaysia? Yes, you can! I will recommend  you to visit SRK Noodle House for a try. I have tried it before and the Kampua's taste is exactly same as my home town's Kampua. It is because the owner is from Sarawak. The noodles are made by the owner personally. I felt so glad when the first time I ate it in West Malaysia. I never found the words to say as I live in West Malaysia for three years finally I find it.

SRK Noodle House
Add: No.84, Jalan SS15/4B, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor.
Business Hours: Everyday 10am-3pm / 5pm-9pm
Tel: 016-9000978 / 03-56119516

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